How to Attract Patients in a Saturated Marketplace: Easy Solutions for Busy Eye Doctors

The eye care industry is booming, and as a result, it has become increasingly competitive to attract patients. It can be difficult for busy eye doctors to stand out in a saturated marketplace and attract more patients. In this blog post, we will discuss easy solutions that you can implement to make your business stand out.

Identify the problem

Take a few minutes to better understand why patients may not be coming into your practice. Ask your staff and anyone else who might have insight. Could it be your location? The services you offer? Your pricing? A staff member? A nearby competitor? Your online presence?

Once you have identified the problem, it will be much easier to address those issues and find a great solution.

Make sure that your office is easy to find and navigate

Is your exterior signage easy to read from the street? Do you have an address that is easy to find on Google Maps, Apple Maps and other GPS systems? Once patients get into your office, can they easily navigate their way around the practice? If not, it’s time for a few changes.

Start by updating your signage if needed and adding an interactive map to your website. If you use WordPress, you can add a plugin or follow these directions on adding a map.

Free and easy ways to make your practice more findable

Inclusion in online directories (Google, Yahoo, Bing)

Visit Google My Business and make sure your business is listed and all the information is correct. Check out this blog for a quick tutorial.

Get a free listing on Yelp for Business and encourage patients to leave reviews if they enjoy their experience at your practice.

Get listed with Yahoo Local, Bing Places, and Foursquare for Business (it’s free). You can also get a business listing on Healthgrades, Vitals or any other healthcare directory.

Make sure that you are also listed on any local business directories including your Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and Angie’s List. Update your Facebook page to include your location as well.

Optimizing your website for search engines

Adding a directions widget to your website or blog can make a big difference for patients looking for your office.

There are many other ways to make your website more user-friendly, such as adding a search bar, patient forms or appointment request forms, and directions.

It is also important to keep your website up-to-date with the latest information about your practice, services, and staff.

All of these changes will help potential patients find you and navigate their way around your office with ease.

Identify the patient demographics that you want to serve and offer services that appeal to them

Do you know your target demographic? If not, it’s time to do some research.

“The more targeted your message is the more successful you will be.”

— Serena Carcasole, AWE Network

What are the age groups that you want to attract? What are their income levels? What are the demographics of the region your practice is in? This information will help you determine your target market and then you can focus your strategies on attracting these audiences.

Once you have identified your targets, make sure that you offer services and products that appeal to them. For example, if your demographic is a younger age group with a higher income you should offer luxury brands of frames and lenses as well as stylish lens enhancements such as mirrors and tinting. You might even consider supplementing your offering with beauty enhancements such as Botox or eyebrow shaping.

If you offer services that attract families and children, make sure to have children’s books and toys in the waiting room. You might want to highlight the importance of blue light and photochromic lenses as a useful add-on. The goal is to attract patients who will most benefit from your practice by making them feel comfortable and welcome.

If your target demographic is older, you’ll want to have chairs with armrests for them to sit on comfortably. Focus on progressive lenses as well as disease screening and dry eye treatment with this demographic.

Offering incentives for first time and repeat patients

One way to attract patients is to offer incentives for first-time patients and repeat visits. This can be anything from a free consultation or exam, a discount on services, or a small gift like a gift card or complimentary lens cleaning supplies.

This will attract new patients who want to try your services, and it can also attract repeat visits for current patients who may be on the fence about scheduling their next appointment with you. Offering incentives is a great way to attract more business.

Incentives also work well to increase patient loyalty. Referral rewards such as a gift card or free eye exam for referring new patients who then schedule an appointment tend to work well. Discounts with the purchase of second pair lenses and frames, depending on price point and target audience can also do a lot to keep patients in-house.

Make sure that you announce any special offers prominently on your website and on all of your social media accounts. To make sure this is done effectively, make sure to create a simple spreadsheet that calculates your cost along with profit to ensure you have a positive return-on-investment on your efforts. If not, then reconsider your offer and try again.

Create a user-friendly online presence

Easy solutions include making sure your website is mobile responsive, creating an online presence with social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, and paying attention to customer reviews of your services on review sites like Yelp or Google+. Responding to comments, both negative and positive, will ensure your patients feel “heard”.

Utilize marketing to drive interest

Now that you know who your demographic is, you should create messaging that will resonate with what they are interested in.

Having a presence where your patients are is essential to attract new patients and keep current ones. Utilizing marketing tools such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads can attract new customers who may not have known about you otherwise. These ads should be targeted specifically to attract the demographic that will benefit most from your services so they get an instant connection to what you have to offer. With just a couple of dollars per day, you can target your zip code and surrounding area with ads that will let potential patients know what you have to offer.

Make sure that your website and social media accounts are updated regularly with fresh, new content so patients always have something new to see. This will attract their attention and keep them coming back for more.

Social media can attract new patients and keep existing ones engaged with your practice. Try posting daily content or weekly with pictures from recent events, updates on what’s happening in-office, or information about eye health. Ensure you are “tagging” the correct locations and people for maximum exposure. This will attract customers who may not have known about you otherwise and create word-of-mouth marketing for your practice.

Partnerships are a great low-cost way to market as well. Consider teaming up with a local business that is complementary to your services. For example, if your demographic is luxury, partner with a nearby clothing boutique, spa, or salon. Some ideas for partnership could be posting about each other, leaving marketing material in each location, or a special offer for patrons of both businesses.

Provide excellent customer service to every patient who walks through your door

Excellent customer service is the key to keeping your patients happy and coming back for more visits. This includes greeting them by name, remembering their preferences, providing a comfortable environment, and going above and beyond what is expected.

Some examples of excellent customer service might be :

  • Sending a thank you note with the glasses or contacts they ordered.
  • Providing complementary cleaning solution, wipes, and storage cases for their eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Offering a loyalty program with points for each purchase that can be redeemed for discounts for free products and services.
  • Making appointments available within 24 hours and/or on the weekends.
  • Sending reminder text messages or emails prior to their appointment.
  • Offering shuttle service from local transportation hubs.

All of these small things add up and will create loyal patients who are likely to refer their friends and family to your practice.

Making a few simple changes can attract more patients to your business, and following these tips will ensure that you keep them coming back for years to come!

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